Backpacking in the Jotunheim National Park, Norway, 1997

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Useful Information

Maps and Guides

I took the 1:100000 Jotunheim sheet from the Statens Kartverk Turkart series. Although this is a smaller scale than we're used to in Britain it shows plenty of detail. I bought it mail order from The Map Shop (phone 01684 593146) for £10.

Den Norske Touristforening have a shop and office in Oslo at Storgata 3, just a couple of hundred metres from the central station. They are the Norwegian mountain tourism organisation and publish guides and run huts. They have a comprehensive range of maps and guides for sale and people to help with your enquiries.


People tend to think of Norway as an expensive country but that wasn't my experience. Of course the current strength of the pound helps, but even so I didn't find it expensive in comparison with Switzerland for example. But most importantly the fact that you need never pay for accomodation in remote areas really brings the cost down.

My return flight from Manchester to Oslo cost about £220, and the train and coach fares came to less than £100.


I went in early August and after a couple of damp days at the beginning I had sun every day. During the day it was hot enough for short and T-shirt most of the time, and at night I was warm enough wearing thermals inside my very lightweight sleeping bag. However I am told that I was very lucky with the weather, so travellers should be prepared for worse conditions.


I went to Norway expecting even worse insect trouble than in Scotland, but in fact I was hardly troubled at all. There were huge mosquitos with reindeer hide piercing mouthparts, but there weren't clouds of them and they seemed to prefer reindeer blood to human blood. Perhaps they haven't evolved to see us as food yet!

A Note on Norwegian Mountain Vocabulary

The names of Norwegian mountain place names are incredibly easy for an English visitor to understand - certainly far easier than Welsh or Scottish names for example. The reason for this is that very many place names in Northern England, and especially the Lake District, were given by settlers of Norse origin.

Here are some examples:

Norwegian English Meaning
Dale Dale Valley
Tjørn or Tjern Tarn Small lake
Fjell Fell Mountain
Vatn Water Lake
Bekk Beck Stream
Foss Foss Waterfall
Egg Edge Arête

There are a few words that aren't so obvious:

Norwegian Meaning
Bre Glacier
Bu Settlement or Farm
Tind Peak
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